Essentials of Language Editing

Instructor: Murugaraj Shanmugam

Duration: 13 weeks

Modules: 4

Skill Level: Beginner

Course Overview

“Essentials of Language Editing” is a specialization, a course of courses, to launch you into a successful copyediting career. The course covers the essentials of three important components of copyediting – grammar and style, punctuation, and MS Word. Each module/topic is supplemented with editing practice to provide the aspiring language editor a glimpse of editing. Select candidates may also receive an opportunity to work as interns with us.

While most of the topics of this course are applicable for editing any genre, our examples,  practice papers, assessments and editing internship are all designed around academic publishing.

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to find employment with any of the typesetting companies in India (here is a list of Indian typesetting companies) and abroad or become a freelancer. 

Who is this course for?

This is a great course for you if


you aspire to become a language editor


you are a style editor who wants to move ahead in your career


you are a language editor who is looking for a refresher course to reinforce your learning


you are contemplating career change to achieve work–life balance

What makes one a great copyeditor?

Editor’s Essentials believes you can become a great copyeditor if


you are strong in grammar


you have a flair for reading


you have an eye for detail


you are inquisitive

(If you are inquisitive, here is a three-part article that illustrates these four qualities.)

How is the course delivered?

The course may be accessed via our learning portal, which includes learning material, practice quizzes, and assessments, via self-paced online modules. Live Zoom sessions are conducted on weekends. Discussions are held via an exclusive forum community.

Each week is complete in itself in that the learning week begins with a live session of the topic(s) of the week, followed by practice papers and assessment, and finally editing sample passages of the topic(s) covered in this week. Thus each topic completes the full cycle of (1) introduction of the concepts, (2) reinforcement through practice, (3) validation through assessments and (4) application through editing samples.

Course Content

Module 1: Grammar & style

This module covers the basics of grammar and style required to carry out light editing with confidence. Topics include Engish and its variants, focussing on American and British English, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, article usage, review of basics as needed, abbreviations, numerals, names and terms, citations and cross-references

Module 2: Punctuation

Using a functional approach this module explores how various punctuation marks can be used to convey the intended message. Topics include mechanical aspects of comma, colon, hyphens and dashes; punctuating lists; combining clauses; end punctuation; quotations; and double punctuation.

Module 3: MS Word for editors

Microsoft Word being the most popular writing platform, this module covers the essential features that every editing beginner should know. Topics include setting user name, proofing language, track changes, comments, find and replace, as well as understanding the different layouts.

Module 4: Mentoring

The most important component of learning a skill is to practice. This module includes thoughtfully designed editing samples that cover the topics of learning. Previously enrolled learners have endorsed this module as an invaluable part of their learning.

Course Instructor

Murugaraj Shanmugam

Murugaraj Shanmugam has been an editor for nearly 20 years and is as much passionate about teaching as he is about editing. He has set up copyediting teams that work for reputable publishers from the United States and United Kingdom. He was also instrumental in designing and delivering training modules for the organizations he worked with.